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Action plan to respond to the views of national park residents

This is an archived press release

Monday 18 January 2010

18 January 2010

Action plan to respond to the views of national park residents

A range of measures is being proposed by the Peak District National Park Authority to listen and respond to the concerns of residents on issues that matter to them.

Members of the authority’s audit and performance committee will be asked to approve a revised residents’ action plan at a meeting on Friday 22 January.

It follows an evaluation of existing work to support communities and today’s publication of the results of a residents’ survey carried out in July last year among 2,700 randomly selected households.

Among the items proposed in the new action plan are:

  • Holding regular community visits by the authority’s chair and chief executive to listen to the views of local people. This follows a successful pilot project last year.
  • Publicising more widely recent improvements to the planning service for residents, including evening planning surgeries
  • Developing new leaflets, letters and website information to explain in plain English how to make a planning application, comment on one or find out about a decision
  • Continuing community planning work to assist local people in applying for grants and carrying out major projects to improve village life and the local environment
  • Helping members of the authority play a bigger role as ambassadors for the national park
  • Developing the use of social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, to communicate with residents, particularly younger people.
  • Continuing to develop the community section of the Peak District National Park website at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/community to share good practice among residents about issues like setting up a village website, applying for grants and introducing energy efficient measures in their homes and communities.

Jim Dixon, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “It is important that national park communities continue to change if they are to remain vibrant places to live and work. We are always keen to hear views about improving ways of working with local people .

“I would like to thank the residents that responded to our survey as the information they have given will be used as we develop our future plans.  This will make us better at listening and responding to the issues that matter to them.

“There are some clear messages in the results about areas where residents are happy with services and the things they would like us to do more of.”

The full survey results can be seen at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/residentsurvey but key points include:

  • Almost all residents feel informed about why the national park is a special place and value its natural beauty and distinctive character.
  • 53 per cent of residents feel quite or very well informed about the authority’s work  
  • 37 per cent of residents feel the authority supports local communities and 28 per cent that it supports local businesses. This compares to 21 per cent and 20 per cent who disagree respectively.
  • 88 per cent read the authority’s resident newsletter Parklife. Of these 80 per cent feel it is useful in explaining what the authority does.
  • 38 per cent of residents have heard of the authority’s Environmental Quality Mark, which is awarded to environmentally friendly businesses.
  • Only seven per cent of people interviewed had made a planning application within the past year but the overall perception among all residents questioned was that 20 per cent thought the authority made good planning decisions, compared to 43 per cent that didn’t.
  • 89 per cent of residents feel the facilities for outdoor recreation in the national park are good or better

Residents can find out about the work of the Peak District National Park Authority by visiting its website at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk

This is an archived press release

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